Cúrate dining review: “Quality control is still in effect”

Matthew DeRobertis, reporter for Asheville Citizen-Times’ Scene, visited Cúrate recently and, in his review, said it still lives up to the buzz. He and his family sampled a variety of tapas and found the quality and flavor incredible and varied.

While visiting Cúrate, reviewer Matthew DeRobertis sampled many tapas, including the pulpo a la gallega. Photo by Evan Sung.

While visiting Cúrate, reviewer Matthew DeRobertis sampled many tapas, including the pulpo a la gallega. Photo by Evan Sung.

  • From the review:

“One special of the day was padrón peppers, small mild green chilies with a one in 10 shot of being spicy (we found one in our bunch). The peppers were blistered and topped with bonito flakes, dancing from the steam of the dish. It was simple and a perfect starter with our drinks.

The padróns didn’t hold a candle to the next dish, pan con tomate with Manchego. Rustic bread was sliced, toasted and topped with tomato fresco and thin slices of manchego.

An order of tabla de jamon arrived at the same time, featuring three varieties of Spanish ham: Serrano, similar to prosciutto, a slightly richer Ibérico ham and an Ibérico de bellota, offering more complexity and nuttiness. The price seems high at $20, but seeing as some of these hams can push $100 a pound, Curate’s price actually seems reasonable.

The ensalada de verano, a salad of petite greens featuring heirloom cherry tomatoes, soft sheep’s cheese and corn nuts, all dressed in a honey-sherry vinaigrette, exuded summer. The star player was the compressed watermelon, resulting in vibrantly colored pieces that packed twice the flavor.

Dishes arrive as they are ready, and our fried dishes came up next. An old favorite, berenjenas la taberna, or fried eggplant, takes slices of eggplant and drizzles them in honey and rosemary. Sadly, the eggplant, though enjoyable, wasn’t fried quite as crisp as on past visits.

While my daughter chose the croquetas, her favorite turned out to be the pulpo a la gallega. Also a favorite of mine, it’s a traditional Galician-style octopus dish. If you’ve never tried octopus before, Cúrate’s version is where you should start. Small, incredibly tender bites of octopus are coated with olive oil, paprika and sea salt and then served next to a silken potato purée.

The final dish of the night, by recommendation of our server, was setas al jerez and cerdo iberico a las finas hierbas, or sauteed mushrooms in sherry with grilled pork skirt steak, rosemary and thyme. The iberico pork was tender and incredibly rich in flavor, but it was the sherry that woke the whole dish up and made it a success.”

Read the full review here.

The reviewer noted the restaurant is busy and it’s tough to get a primetime reservation. Plan ahead and reserve a table for your next visit here or call 828-239-2946.